Training advice? Back on the bike after a long time.

Discussion in 'Road Cycling' started by Morgan Fletcher, Mar 3, 2003.

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  1. I am 34. I used to race road, mountain and track ten years ago. I was a strong local rider. Raced
    cat 3 on the road and track, raced expert on my mountain bike. Probably would have done better on
    the track as I'm built for it and good at time trials and sprints, but I only raced track my last
    season. Had almost enough points for cat 2 on the road when I had a bad break, (femur) lost
    motivation and stopped racing. Raced four seasons. I'm 6'2", have "heavy bones". Weighed 179lbs at
    my lightest after doing five weeks of 450-mile weeks, usually raced at 185lbs. Won Patterson Pass
    Road Race as a cat 4 (broke away on the climb) so I can climb OK for a big guy when fit.

    I haven't raced in ten years, and I've been off the bike for the most part for six years, been busy
    being a father in that time frame.

    Now I'm riding again. I was 275lbs last summer, I'm 240lbs now, been riding for six months. For the
    last two or three months I've been doing one big "fat burner" ride of five-plus hours Sundays, and
    using my commute to get three 38-mile round trips (about three hours total riding time over hilly
    terrain) during the week. Sometimes I extend one of my commutes to 50-60 miles mid-week. I'm also
    trying to get in a shorter Saturday ride, but that's my wife's day to ride. By fat-burner I mean
    long, steady distance. I don't wear a heart rate monitor, but it's a decent tempo that my faster
    friends are comfortable with, a mix of big and small-chainring work over hilly terrain. Lately the
    rides have been in the 80-100 mile range. I use powerbars, cytomax and lots of hydration to get as
    many miles in as possible. I am feeling good after my rides and I still see progress in terms of
    speed, recovery and endurance each week. I don't feel overtrained, but the weight is coming off
    slowly. My weight has held steady at around 245lbs for a while, I guess while I was gaining muscle
    and losing fat. Now it's started to drop again.

    I'm trying to leave each meal a little hungry, cut out fats and eat more vegetables and less red
    meat, drinking a lot more water too. Modifying my diet has been much harder than getting the miles.
    I don't do any gym work, just ride.

    I did my first race in ten years this past weekend, a team (2) time trial on an out-and-back course,
    with a friend who's stronger than me as a partner. Did OK, but not great. (caught our minute men and
    their minute men, didn't get caught but managed just mid-field in the masters 70+ category) I could
    tell from that one race just how out of shape I still am. All my riding has been fairly
    low-intensity lately. This time trial was the first high-intensity riding I've done since I got back
    on the bike.

    I know that if I could get another 30-40lbs off I'd feel ready to do some masters racing. My goal is
    just to get fit enough to do local training rides, enjoy hammering on the bike, hurt my friends and
    be competitive in road races at some level.

    Read some racing training books (Matheny, Doughty, Boryzewicz, etc.) a long time ago, know some of
    the basics of training already. Don't belong to a club or a team, just do local rides and ride with
    friends. I am guessing that it might take all summer to lose the weight and get near fit. My wife
    and I both work and we have two little kids, so riding time has to fit into our schedules.

    Sorry for the long post. Do you have training advice for me?

    Morgan
     
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  2. "Morgan Fletcher" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
    > I am 34. I used to race road, mountain and track ten years ago. I was a

    <snip>

    > Now I'm riding again. I was 275lbs last summer, I'm 240lbs now, been
    riding
    > for six months. For the last two or three months I've been doing one big "fat burner" ride

    <snip>

    > I know that if I could get another 30-40lbs off I'd feel ready to do some masters racing.

    <snip><end>

    Dude, you're skinny.

    You're ready for the masters right now.

    Steve Taylor
     
  3. Bikerecker

    Bikerecker Guest

    morganhaha wrote:
    >Do you have training advice for me?

    I, like you, am mid 30's, 6'3", and "big boned". I quit racing 7 years ago, after 13 years, gained
    40 pounds, became a fat slob. My doctor talked to my wife about my cholesterol and blood pressure,
    and she became part of my motivation to get back in shape and use the goal structure of racing to
    stay fit. I have since upgraded twice, to Cat 1, and my weight stays under 200, dropping to 180 in
    mid season. I also rock climb 5.10. The rock climbing gives me a different set of goals that force
    me to balance my fitness, and also allows more time with my family, who are all into climbing, too.
    I am all about goals, and bike racing, with all of its different levels of quantification, lends
    itself to personalities like mine. Free advice: Well, as you know, your first priority is the
    weight. You won't be competitive in the Masters til you get back to near where you were as a 3. You
    have to realize that it is possible. A lot of guys I know hit their mid-thirties and just give up on
    trying to maintain any semblance of their youthful fitness. There is no real reason to do so,
    besides motivation. If you are motivated, and barring any major circumstance upset, you will do it.
    The formula is so simple: eat less, burn more, lose weight. Besides the LSD rides, you need to do
    some intensity. The books you are reading (besides Eddy B's, which is pretty anachronistic) have
    lots of good workouts that will help you incorporate intensity into your weekly schedules. Weight
    lifting also helps. I can't really lose my winter fat unless I mix endurance sports with resistance
    training. I suspect you are the same. Since I hate gyms, I do my workouts at home. A few dumbbells,
    a pull up bar, and a place to do push ups and crunches are all you need. Plus, more motivation. Your
    weekends need to have two good workouts. Figure out a way to work one into Saturdays. Even if it's a
    god awful trainer ride, you have to do something fairly long, and fairly intense. Maybe a tandem
    might help, it did with us. Hill repeats with my 130 # wife on the back take on a totally new
    difficulty level... Another tip: Caloric intake needs to end after 6 in the evening; it's
    superfluous, anyway. Takes some willpower, AKA, motivation, to skip or cut back on big dinners,
    healthful or not. Hope this helps. Stay core and you will make it. Greg Miller Just got off the
    trainer at 10:30
     
  4. Cathy Boland

    Cathy Boland Guest

    "Morgan Fletcher" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
    >
    > terms of speed, recovery and endurance each week. I don't feel
    overtrained,
    > but the weight is coming off slowly. My weight has held steady at around 245lbs for a while, I
    > guess while I was gaining muscle and losing fat. Now it's started to drop again.
    >

    Be patient. You didn't gain 100 lbs in 6 months so you can't expect to lose it that quickly either.
    At least not lose it and keep it off anyway.

    > category) I could tell from that one race just how out of shape I still am. All my riding has been
    > fairly low-intensity lately. This time trial
    was
    > the first high-intensity riding I've done since I got back on the bike.
    >

    You just told yourself what to do. You need to put intensity back into your training regimen. Sounds
    like you have enough base miles back to start doing training races, intervals, and yes, racing as
    well. The weight will start to drop off a little more quickly and you will be surprised how quickly
    your racing fitness comes back.

    Good luck!

    Cathy
     
  5. Morgan Fletcher <[email protected]> writes:

    > I am 34. I used to race road, mountain and track ten years ago.

    Henry's remarks aside, you've still got alot of weight to lose.

    I was in a similar situation - age 35, took 5-6 years off, gained weight. I was in decent aerobic
    shape due to commuting 100-125 miles a week, but needed to lose weight. I'm 6'2, and weighed
    225-ish; the pounds just wouldn't seem to come off.

    I continued commuting and riding recreationally, but the main thing I changed was my diet, and lost
    over 30 lbs. I weigh less now than I did when I was racing 8 years ago. The weight is staying off. I
    had taken 6 weeks off the bike due to an injury last September and only gained about 7-8 pounds.

    In addition to the other advice in this thread I'll add the following:

    1. Count calories. I used my wife's old Weight Watchers books and points system. I only used it to
    the extent that I found a set of foods which I liked eating which remained within my points
    range. I did not credit any points for exercising, and I did not bank or loan points between
    days. I just stuck with it. It was actually very easy once my eyes were opened to reading food
    labels - the number of calories per serving size. After 3-4 weeks I abandoned the points entirely
    and just relied on calories and serving sizes directly.

    2. The low calorie diet and trying to perform at any level above just commuting was painful. Since
    the pounds were coming off, I just stuck with what I was doing and 6 weeks later I had lost 25
    pounds. Lost another 10 over the next 4 weeks. I increased my performance goals and adjusted my
    diet accordingly during the last 4 week period.

    3. What you eat is important, not just eating less. Refined flour and sugar is bad. Pasta is bad;
    good for performance, but bad if you are trying to lose weight. Watch out for sugary drinks -
    juices are no good - read the labels.

    4. Fat isn't necessarily bad. Deprive your body from it and your body may crave it, which may in
    turn drive your appetite and you might end up overeating. In measured doses (ie, stick to a
    serving size which doesn't blow your calorie budget) you can use it to *control* your appetite
    because it satisfies the genetic programming which is making you want to eat it ("mmmmm - fat
    tastes GOOD").

    5. If you feel that your energy level is low, it might be a sign that you need to sleep, not eat.

    6. Not eating after a certain point in the day (say 6pm) helps alot - it prevents your system from
    absorbing calories which you won't be using in the next 12+ hours (which over time can cause your
    body to store the excess in the form of fat).

    7. Regarding weight training, if you want to lose weight you could likely end up gaining muscle
    mass. I would stay away from free weights and machines and focus on what I call a "prisoner's
    workout" - pushups, crunches, pullups, and other more calisthenic exercises. This will burn
    calories and give you muscle tone without adding muscle bulk. Also, it removes your excuse for
    not doing it - "uh, I couldn't lift today because the gym closed before I could get there". You
    can drop and give 20 anytime the mood strikes you (during commercials, waiting for your laundry
    to finish, whatever).

    If you weighed 185 before, you can weigh 185 again. The problem is that if you want to lose weight,
    you need to run a calorie deficit. There is no way around that.

    -Gerard rec.bicycles.fat-acceptance
     
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